J Adv Prosthodont.  2017 Dec;9(6):470-475. 10.4047/jap.2017.9.6.470.

3-dimensional reconstruction of mandibular canal at the interforaminal region using micro-computed tomography in Korean

  • 1Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, Chosun University, Gwangju, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Department of Oral Anatomy, College of Dentistry, Chosun University, Gwangju, Republic of Korea. sky@chosun.ac.kr
  • 3Department of Dental Prosthetics, College of Dentistry, Chosun University, Gwangju, Republic of Korea.


The purpose of this study was to identify the complex course of the mandibular canal using 3D reconstruction of microCT images and to provide the diagram for clinicians to help them understand at the interforaminal region in Korean.
Twenty-six hemimandibles obtained from cadavers were examined using microCT, and the images were reconstructed. At both the midpoint of mental foramen and the tip of anterior loop, the bucco-lingual position, the height from the mandibular inferior border, the horizontal distance between two points, and position relative to tooth site on the mandibular canal were measured. The angle that the mental canal diverges from the mandibular canal was measured in posteriorsuperior and lateral-superior direction.
The buccal distance from the mandibular canal was significantly much shorter than lingual distance at both the mental foramen and the tip of anterior loop. The mandibular canal at the tip of anterior loop was significantly located closer to buccal side and higher than at the mental foramen. And the mental canal most commonly diverged from the mandibular canal below the first premolar by approximately 50° posterior-superior and 41° lateral-superior direction, which had with a mean length of 5.19 mm in front of the mental foramen, and exited to the mental foramen below the second premolar.
These results suggest that it could form a hazardous tetrahedron space at the interforaminal region, thus, the clinician need to pay attention to the width of a premolar tooth from the mental foramen during dental implant placement.


Mandibular canal; Anterior loop; Interforaminal region; 3D-reconstruction; MicroCT

MeSH Terms

Dental Implants
X-Ray Microtomography
Dental Implants


  • Fig. 1 Serial images (coronal views) of the mandibular canal obtained using microCT scanning. The dashed circle indicates the course of the mandibular canal at each tooth site. The arrow indicates the opening (mental foramen) of mental canal. (A) M1, first molar; (B) P2, second premolar; (C) P1, first premolar; (D) C, canine. Bu, buccal side; Li, lingual side.

  • Fig. 2 Three-dimensional reconstructed images of the mandibular canal. (A – C, capital letter of top line) Lateral views showing the 3 types of the mandibular canal according to the divergent in the posterior-superior direction: type 1 (A), type 2 (B), and type 3 (C). (a – c, small letter of bottom line) Anteroposterior views of the mandibular canal corresponding to the images in A – C, respectively.

  • Fig. 3 Schematic drawing shows the major course of the mandibular canal which forms a hazardous tetrahedron space at the interforaminal region. The measurement was performed in the reference position where is at both the midpoint of mental foramen (Section A) and the tip of anterior loop (Section B). The data represent mean values of each measurement items. MC, mandibular canal; mc, mental canal; IC, incisive canal.


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